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Beyone Belief! - Carers UK Forum

Beyone Belief!

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
When I was forced onto JSA after my Carers Allowance was stopped during Dad's final illness just over two years ago I was less than impressed by the "help" I received from the local JobCentre - an example being when they told me that no particular consideration was given to former carers, who were treated no differently from any other long-term unemployed. So, I didn't turn up there with any high hopes for my appointment today, but quite honestly, what I heard astonished even me!

I have not been in paid employment since 30 June, but I have not been signing on, mainly because I do not feel it worth the hassle to jump through the JobCentre's hoops and claim Contributions-based JSA for what is in effect £52 per week after tax. (I should explain that I am very fortunate in that the mortgage is paid off, I have contributed fthe ull number of NI years to my state pension and I have a bit of capital to fall back on). And anyway, I have really wanted to work part-time and combine that with voluntary work and training, something that would have made me ineligible for JSA. I have done some really worthwhile training to be a gateway assessor with the local Citizens Advice Bureau and am also doing a "First Steps to Counselling" course at the local college and have participated in the local Carers’ Forum. But I have been unable to find any part-time work and on Tuesday was provisionally offered a short-term, full-time hours contract starting 18 October and running for about 10 weeks which I have, given no real alternative, accepted. However, according to the agency offering me the job, many organisations (including the one they were putting me forward to ) these days take a dim view of people who, when they are unemployed, do not sign on, particularly if they are out of work for 3 months or more. So, I duly rang up the JobCentre on Tuesday and put in a claim. When I went in to the JC for interview this morning and explained that I didn't really want to claim JSA, just register as unemployed, I was promptly told that not signing on for three months meant that I would be assumed to have been held at Her Majesty's Pleasure for the period I was neither signed on nor employed!!!! Honestly, I have never in my whole life been so........ well, words fail me, and that doesn't happen very often! My arguments that I have been trying to be responsible in relying on my own resources, and not laying myself open to accusations of scrounging or playing the system seemed to fall on deaf ears. Anyway the upshot is that I am signed on, not claiming JSA but claiming NI credits for the next week and a bit until my contract starts.

Am I being cynical here, or do you think there is some truth in my suspicion that they cannot bear anyone disappearing "off the radar", even for a short period of time, and that we all have to be accountable to "Big Brother" 24/7? I do understand that companies and government departments have security procedures and quite honestly, I don’t mind how many security/CRB checks they subject me to, I just really object to the implication that because I have been out of the “systemâ€
I used to think the world is a peculiar place.

Now I know it's just the people in it...
That's a great saying, Charles, and very true!
Bizarre, but then everything coming from that lot of pen-pushers is nonsense. I dont want to be nasty or anything, but if the big single benefit does come in and half of the DWP staff are thrown on the dole, I'm not sure I would have many sleepless nights over their plight. They drove my daughter to tears when she was unemployed and looking for help, and I had to pick up the pieces. The welfare system is heartless, utterly mechanical, and incredibly unfair.
"The welfare system is heartless, utterly mechanical, and incredibly unfair."

That just about sums up my feeling on the subject!
I used to work in the Dole Office in the early 80s when entire companies used to come in to sign on.
There was so much Red Tape and so many constraints on US as to who we could help and who we could not .............. so many genuine people were caught out by these red tapes and rules and regulations ............ I just couldn't bear it, not being able to help people properly. Two years later and still not having passed my 'probationary period' (supposed to be 3 months, isn't it?), I RESIGNED AND LEFT.
I believe it's even worse now.

I will never become a Civil Servant ever again. I have never worked in a place which was so 'cold' and 'unfeeling' towards people in need and those it was supposed to be helpful and sympathetic to. It was really horrible working there, because I couldn't help those people.

And actually, the more I tried to help them, delve into books to give them phone numbers and other places to go for help - the MORE I GOT TOLD OFF AND REMONSTRATED WITH BY MY MANAGERS AND SUPERVISORS.